I spoke recently and was introduced as a “guru”. I mentioned to a friend how odd that sounded and she agreed – it is a word that has been overused and overdone to death. I appreciate the person introducing me trying to make me sound like I know what I am talking about, but giving me goofy titles like “guru” or “goddess” (another one I’ve gotten lately) is just over the top.
So then I was watching Next Food Network Star and they had a task to describe the food they were eating. They couldn’t use descriptors like “awesome” and “delicious” because they don’t mean anything. And I realized, that was my issue with these titles people give others (or worse – give themselves). They don’t mean anything. Being a “guru” of something doesn’t give you any idea of my qualifications or my abilities. It is the same as saying this food is delicious. You have no connection with it except you know someone thought that.
Instead, while it may be more words, describe others and yourself in ways that will be meaningful. Similes and metaphors are always good – he’s the “He is like the Sherlock of computer problems” or “she’s the Martha Stewart of Social Media”. You may ask what the heck that means, but at least it will give you a picture of what they are going for. What I prefer, is the person introducing me to say something about what I’ve done for them. An intro that says, “I’ve heard her speak and I’m telling you – I took 4 pages of notes and I NEVER take notes” goes a lot further than “she’s a guru”. In fact, when someone introduced me with the comment about taking notes, people got out paper. Cool!
So think about how you refer to people and/or introduce them. Don’t give them a title just to do so. Instead, try to make it something meaningful.